Karen Schijman Helps Morgan Kibby Find Herself
If you’ve got a spine that likes to keep it moving, you’re already familiar with M83, the French electro pop group that delivered hits any self respecting mortal wouldn’t be able to help themselves from grooving out to. Perhaps their most famous song of late memory is Midnight City, a track cowritten by Morgan Kibby who has since forged off on her own. White Sea, as she is known when she slips into her richly colored gowns, just released a debut album whose photographs were styled by Karen Schijman.
Like a bolt from the core, Morgan Kibby bears forth her music as a revelation, a bold departure from her time behind a keyboard. That was a part of the challenge for Karen. “For the tour [with M83]… the looks I selected for her were more flowing and had movement to them,” Karen says about Morgan, pre-transformation. “When we started thinking about her own project, White Sea, she is the front woman and she wanted to create a persona.”
For Morgan, working with Karen was more than just picking the right dresses. “I remember stepping on stage in New York in my first K. Schijman creation and I was transformed,” Morgan recalls. “I owned my performance in a new and staggeringly more confident way… I finally understood the role and creative genius of the incredible designers, artists and stylists so many gifted female musicians surround themselves with."
The work on White Sea’s album, In Cold Blood, is dark, moody, and severe. Karen says, “we went in a David Lynch, Mulholland Drive feel, more dramatic and film noir with a strong female persona.”
Where M83’s aesthetic was about dream-like alternate realities, and nostalgia driven playdates, White Sea hooks you with contrast and shadows. It’s a real departure for Morgan, shepherded by Karen. But this new Morgan isn’t something that was created in a vacuum, it’s an expression of who Morgan was all along. Karen explains, “It is always a challenge to create a look without looking like a character that the artist is hiding behind or that have been styled like.” Now that Morgan has come out from behind the keyboard we get to really get a good look.